A screening of “Won’t Back Down” – a new Hollywood movie starring Maggie Gyllenhaal as a single parent determined to improve her daughter’s failing school who joins forces with a teacher to collect signatures (trailer here) that pit them against the entrenched union – is expected to draw plenty of attention this week at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC.
The film, based on a true story, was well received at last week’s Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., largely because it highlights the battle over school choice, while painting the entrenched teachers unions as blocking progress in the improvement of our schools.
Unions, which represent a large support column for the Democratic party, have blasted the film, with American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten penning an open letter this week, saying “The film contains several egregiously misleading scenes with the sole purpose of undermining people’s confidence in public education, public school teachers and teachers unions.”
With school choice and teachers unions forming the front line in the political battle over education, it’s no wonder that this film is already generating headlines, and is expected to draw some protest in Charlotte.
Filmmaker Daniel Barnz told the Huffington Post that he was ‘disappointed’ by Weingarten’s letter and the general opposition to the film, indicating that the film was ‘pro-children’ rather than ‘anti-union’.
Feel free to discuss this film in the comments – particularly if you’ve seen an advanced screening. Do you agree with Barnz that it is possible to both support and criticize teaching unions, as he claims this film does?
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